Book Review: The Crisis in the Vatican Empire by Massimo Franco

The Crisis in the Vatican Empire by Massimo Franco
The Crisis in the Vatican Empire by Massimo Franco

Title: The Crisis in the Vatican Empire

Author: Massimo Franco

Genre: Nonfiction, History, Vatican, Catholicism

Publisher: Mondadouri (and courtesy of NetGalley)

Published: November 26, 2013

Page Amount: 134 pages

Blurb From GoodreadsScandals, internal power struggles, whistleblowers, and the challenge of a quickly changing world. This book helps readers understand one of the most tormented periods of transition in the history of the Catholic Church. Benedict XVI’s epochal decision to resign as pope not only ended his pontificate, but has revealed a new identity crisis within the Catholic Church—the paragon of virtue—forcing it into the awkward position of having to explain and to confess its own “sins” and convince the public that it is reforming and will change its behavior. The church is perceived by adversaries as the “second Kremlin,” doomed to the same ruin that marked the fall of the Soviet empire. Massimo Franco analyzes the deep-seated causes and implications of the Catholic Church’s disintegration

Why Read: This was my most recent Netgalley pick, mainly because I do like reading about the religious culture as it relates to politics and I don’t mind the Catholicism issue, unfortunately – I’m not as interested in finance as I could be and therefore didn’t enjoy the book as much as others did. 

Review: Perhaps it is the fact that I’m simply not into non-fiction as much as other readers, but I really could not make myself enjoy this book. There was, for me, a distinct lack of a hook, line, and sinker element that gets me really invested in finishing a novel. Perhaps if the book had contained a bit more exciting elements like a background tone of suspense, then it would have been different. But the lack of character of the plot really got to me. 

The was the issue that it did not follow really any characters in particular so while normally I can stick it out through nonfiction reads because I grow connected to a main character – I really found that difficult with this novel. The whole novel resonates with a sort of history textbook style, which I really didn’t get from the ‘back of book’ summary. 

However, it really was a great source of information if readers are interested in some of the background scenery of the Vatican and finance (I’m sure someone fits into that niche, right?). And truly, if I had even an inkling of interest in the topic – then perhaps it would have been entirely different and I would have been riveted. So if you’re up for some heavy and a tad bit dry nonfiction, give it a go. (because some people are into that) 

Rating: 2.8/5 Stars

Reading next: A Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabriella Zevin

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